Experience Parliament of the World’s Religions 2018 With Unity
Unity leaders will join thousands of religious scholars, interfaith teachers, spiritual luminaires, New Thought leaders, and Nobel Laureates for one of the oldest interfaith events on the planet during the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, November 1–7.
The event brings together 10,000-plus participants from more than 200 religions and 80 nations with a focus on the task of global understanding, reconciliation, and change.
Why Interfaith Work Matters for Unity
“Interfaith work is about finding the places where we agree and building on those,” says Rev. Kelly Isola, Unity minister and chair of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council.
“Where we don’t agree, we celebrate the differences—the diversity inherent in life.
“This is the practice of demonstrating that all life is sacred,” she continued. “This is why it is so important for Unity to engage in interfaith work. It is a demonstration of our first two principles.”
Deepening Through Sharing: Bringing Unity to Parliament
Parliament of the World’s Religions gives our leadership an incredible opportunity to reach diverse religious communities for conversation and connection. Interfaith dialogues create greater understanding of the Unity movement.
More important, sharing practices deepens our understanding and allows us to serve our mission and our individual spiritual development.
“It is through listening to, honoring, and embracing this diversity of spiritual practice and beliefs that we can more deeply see the interconnectedness of all life,” says Jim Blake, Unity World Headquarters CEO. “By honoring diverse spiritual practices, we demonstrate the peace and healing needed for our world today.”
Along with Blake, Unity is represented at the event by:
- Rev. Mark Fuss, director of Outreach and Engagement
- Rev. Jacquie Fernandez, multimedia manager
- Katy Koontz, editor in chief of Unity Magazine®
- Jill Angelo, Unity Books
- Diane Ray, director of Unity Online Radio
Many other Unity ministers from all over the world will also attend.
Cheri Jamison, Unity Outreach and Engagement program manager, will attend as a performer. Jamison was selected from more than 1,700 applicants to present a one-hour music program titled Anne Frank and Mirabai: Women's Spiritual Legacy in Opera. Performing, Jamison says, fulfills a soul intention to share her voice in this way, combining her love of Unity and music.
Unity and the History of Parliament of the World’s Religions
In 1893, Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore attended the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. It was at that event that Swami Vivekananda, Hindu philosopher, spoke of religious tolerance and universal acceptance. This strongly influenced the Fillmores.
From the first Parliament of the World’s Religions event, Unity leaders challenged the traditional Western understanding of the Divine. Today we live in a religiously diverse nation where Unity continues to demonstrate how listening to and honoring a variety of spiritual practices benefits our world.
“We have borrowed the best from all religions,” Charles Fillmore said. “That is the reason we are called Unity.”
In celebrating its centennial at a conference in 1993, Parliament of the World’s Religions jump-started the official series of events held every three years. Since the revitalization, Parliaments have been held in Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Resources From Parliament of the World’s Religions
With a mission to cultivate harmony among the world’s religions without ignoring the unique character that each individual spiritual practice brings to the table, the Parliament of the World’s Religions aims for “interreligious harmony,” rather than a united doctrine or dogma, with the goal that planet Earth can move beyond narrow self-interest and realize a common good.
This year’s programming includes more than 500 events, including:
- The Women's Track: The Dignity of Women Across the World's Wisdom Traditions
- Countering War, Hate and Violence Track: Peace and Love: Not War, Hate and Violence
- Climate Action Track: Care for Our Earth, Responsibility for Our Future
- The Indigenous Peoples’ Track: The Spiritual Evolution of Humanity and Healing Our Mother Earth
- The Next Generations Track: Interfaith Has No Age, Youth Voices for Change
- Justice: Advancing Concrete Change Toward a Just, Peaceful, and Sustainable World
Parliament of the World’s Religions website offers a host of interfaith resources including publications, directories, videos, and reports.
Watch a video to learn more about the Parliament of the World’s Religions.